Operation of the Ocean County Amateur Radio Emergency Service
1) STANDBY: The first level of operation is in effect during non-emergency times. No nets are in progress and everyday life takes precedence. Minor problems or localized emergencies, such as traffic accidents, may be handled at this level without activation of the ARES.
2) ALERT: The second level of operation may be requested in response to a local agency request and is automatically assumed to be in effect during net operations unless otherwise noted. It is also automatically in effect during the following:
ANY approaching Hurricane force winds, major storm surge or SIMULATED EMERGENCY TEST (SET). At the Alert level, operators are requested to monitor their local frequencies for possible activation, or to participate in operations for practice. Nets may be established at this level for administration purposes, but should not remain established for greater than one (1) hour. If necessary, a check-in/recheck schedule should be implemented instead of continuous operation.
Net Check/Recheck Procedure
During an ALERT condition, rather than activating nets for 24-hour periods, the following procedure shall be used:
At the hour of 0600, 0900, 1200, 1500, 1800 and 2100, ARES Leadership shall man the NORTH1 Repeater for 15 minutes and distribute important information and make available the opportunity for operators to inquire about conditions. ARES Leadership shall log all contacts on an ICS-309 form and submit to the EC for record keeping.
At the half-hour of 0630, 0930, 1230, 1530, 1830 and 2130, ARES Leadership shall man the NORTH2 Repeater for 15 minutes and distribute important information and make available the opportunity for operators to inquire about conditions. ARES Leadership shall log all contacts on an ICS-309 form and submit to the EC for record keeping.
3) ACTIVATION: The highest
level of operation. At least one (1) full-time ARES net is in
operation. Members may be operating with, or in support of,
other volunteer organizations (such as the Red Cross or
Salvation Army), local municipalities, or state and federal
emergency management groups (such as the Federal Emergency
Management Agency - FEMA). Members may be operating as liaison
stations to other ARES or RACES groups or designated
communications function (such as MARS, the Military Affiliated
Activation shall automatically occur for the following:
Activation of Red Cross Shelters or activation of HELP (Help in Emergencies for Livestock and Pets) ANY state of emergency declared at state, county, or municipal level When activated, members should expect to operate for extended periods (i.e. greater than one hour) and should be prepared to operate in shifts, if necessary.
When activated, members should deploy as directed with the assumption that they must be completely self-sufficient. This means all necessary equipment, tools, food, clothing, etc., should either be brought with the operator or by another member of a team.
It should be noted that above all, FLEXIBILITY in operation should remain as a top priority for all radio operators. Training and drills may only cover a small number of the problems which may occur during "the real thing." Operational capabilities on more than one band or mode, or the ability to operate without commercial power for extended periods tend to become necessary features of radio operators in communication emergencies.
HOWEVER, this does not mean an operator without some, or all, of these capabilities would be unusable. Operators may be teamed up with others, or work in shifts to enable around-the-clock operations.